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Home-made Manga: It All Starts With An Idea
Going from Reader to Creator
After reading the last page of an enjoyable manga, have you ever thought to yourself, “I would love creating a manga of my own”? But you may not know where to start—not even having an idea for a manga you would like to create, but you do have the desire to create one.
It's true that creating manga does take artistic skill, and if you're writing the script as well, you also have to be a good storyteller. However, everyone starts from somewhere. A tree has to grow from a seed. An adult has to be born as a baby. Manga artists have to start from the beginning.
And one of the best ways to learn how to be a manga style comic artist is to create your own manga. So this is sort of a guide to creating a home-brewed manga. There are the topics of planning, creating, and getting it out there for others to enjoy. There is also the possibility of making a little bit of change off of what you create as well, but first things first.
We need to find something to create a manga about.
Look at what you enjoy
Take a good look at what you find entertaining. Not just simply the type of manga that you enjoy, but also novels and movies. If you like romance movies and chic-lit, you would probably like creating shojo and josei manga geared towards girls and women (such as myself), or maybe you're more into to fantasy and action. Go with what you enjoy and what you are familiar with. Also take in to consideration the age of your audience. Would you like to create for children, teens, or adults?
Generating Story Ideas
Now that you know you want to create that fantasy/drama/comedy manga, now it's time to create a story that fits into those themes. Getting ideas for a story isn't an overnight thing. Actually, it comes from observation and being aware of what moves you. Look at the people around you. What are they doing? What situations are they in? How would things turn out if that person decided to stay on the side of the street that they are on instead of crossing traffic to get to the other side? Play with possibilities. Make up stories of what strangers you see everyday could be like.
Then write your ideas down: in a notebook, on a napkin, your arm, anywhere. Don't let even a figment of an idea escape. Music is also a good motivator. Try listening to a song and developing a story idea from it.
An Important Tip:
Although you may have read this manga that was mindblowingly awesome and you just love it and you want to create one just like it—try your best to not use much of it for inspiration. If you're creating a doujinshi (fan manga), that's totally different. But for original creation, it will be best to stay as far away as possible from other mangas, because your aim is not to create a clichéd copy of what's been done before, but a new experience. The only way for your story to stand out is to be different. Even if it's the first one your creating, having your own ideas from the start will lead to more originality in the future.
And your readers will thank you for not creating another manga where the girl says, “Oh, my heart feels so strange. What is this feeling? Oh, what could it be?”
Okay, so now you have an idea for an original manga. But how are you going whip that idea together into something readable? It's about having a theme and a goal, and I'll be covering that next.